Local traditions and culture in Caracas

  • Thick green area, you have to go there!
    Thick green area, you have to go there!
    by RafaelTheSecond
  • "Sleeping girl" by Domenico Feti
    by carolinaEspada
  • Local Customs
    by Saringuis

Most Viewed Local Customs in Caracas

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    A GREEN SHELTER CLOSE TO CARACAS DOWNTOWN

    by RafaelTheSecond Written Apr 29, 2008

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    Los Caobos is a very interesting green area close to the city centre of Caracas. I like to walk in the mornings (this is the safes ttime to enjoy the park...do not go there in the end of the afternoon..very dangerous), lots of trees and with native species of Venezuela. it is also a great space for you to see exotic birds and many different kind of parrots. Nice people like walking in the boulevards for a pleasant walk and being with the Nature.

    It is the entrance of two very nice museums..the BIODIVERSTY MUSEUM and the FINE ARTS MUSEUM!!!

    Beautiful place and close to many landmarks of Caracas, the famous theater Tereza Careño, and the Mesquita and the nice and central neighborhood of Candelaria!

    the subway station nearby is Bellas Artes.

    APRIL 15TH 2008

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    NEW CURRENCY IN 2008!!!

    by carolinaEspada Written Jan 10, 2008

    Your attention please... (and if you dont know math, take a BIG breath):

    Since January 1rst, 2008, we are moving gradually from (old) Bolívares -bills and coins- to Bolívares Fuertes - new bills and new coins-. The "problem" is that we are using both -old and new- at the same time... That has turned out to be very confusing for almost everybody. You can pay in old money, in new money, AND EVEN MIXING OLD AND NEW!!! You can get your change back in one or the other OR BOTH!!! Be carefull, pay attention, print the equivalence chart and carry it in your wallet. The "Banco Central de Venezuela" informs that we will "working" with the two kinds of bolívares from 3 up to 6 months, and even more time if we need to in order to eliminate for ever the old bolívares. Once eliminated the old ones, we will not call anymore the new currency: Bolívares Fuertes, we will call it "Bolívares" again.

    There is another problem... and there have been serious complains from our blind citizens: the Braille marks are not strong, bumpy enough for them to tell the difference in between the new 6 different kinds of bills: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and a 100 Bolívares Fuertes. Fortunatelly, the new coins are easy to identify by touching them... but very hard to see if you are old or need glasses.

    This is going to take time; patience and time.

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    All about the Benjamins

    by Meztli81 Updated Dec 29, 2006

    Before I left, I had heard people say take American dollars, because the black market will exchange them at a much better rate than the official at the airport, but I decided against it, being scared that being robbed might leave me short of alot of money if I carried it on me and imagining the "black market" to be shady individuals on dark street corners. I ended up just taking atm cards but I ended up regretting it. Everybody, and I mean everybody, from hotel clerks to taxi drivers to soda vendors are willing to trade you dollars for more bolivares then I got out of the atm (not to mention the fees I was charged). My friend who took 500 American and traded it through black market kept joking on how much less she was spending than me with our different exchanges. I admit - it is a risk if you're stolen from, so you'll have to weigh that, but considering my experience I'd do it the next time I'm there. Also, careful you don't get too many bolivares you're not going to use because it's hard to trade them back for dollars.

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    THE VENEZUELAN FLAG

    by carolinaEspada Updated Jul 20, 2006

    It might look like some other Latinamerican flags that have the same colours due to historical reasons. But OUR flag is:
    yellow, blue and red; and is the only one to have 7 white stars, displayed in rainbow shape.

    Remember yellow, blue and red... AND THE 7 STARS...
    THAT IS VENEZUELA!!!

    2006 UPDATE
    "The República Bolivariana of Venezuela" -renamed by the former president 8 years ago-,
    has now an addtional star on the flag. Now: 8 stars, and not everybody is happy with this
    this.

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    Polar Ice

    by Saringuis Written Feb 9, 2006

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    In Venezuela you will see advertismens for "POLAR" beer, everywhere. Now I'm not usually too much of a beer fan, but polar ice is the perfect beer for this kind of person. It's very light and fresh. The other versions of polar are good too, except "polar light", unless you like bitter bubbly water...

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    Heavy breakfast

    by Saringuis Written Feb 9, 2006

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    A lot of Venezuelans start the day with a strong meal. When you're used to having a small bowl of cereal or just a cup of coffee in the morning, this can be quite the challenge! A typical breakfast can be empanadas or arepa, with filling ofcourse. One of the fillings I tried is very tasty (I forgot the name though) it's similar to scrambeled eggs only.. different!

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    Venezuelan dish

    by Saringuis Written Feb 7, 2006

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    One of the traditional Venezulean dishes is "Pabellon". It coonsists of black beans, fried platanos (sort of banana), rice and teared up beef cooked in a saus, with some cilantro bringing a certain freshness. To West-Euopeans it might look absolutely gross, but trust me, you do not want to miss out on this marvel!!!

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    Caracas or Caraca

    by travelife Updated May 18, 2005

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    It may seem they say Caraca instead of Caracas. But VTer Kelly disagrees. She say it is indeed Caracas but with a very short and soft 's'. This is just a bit of change in the 'Spainsh' used in Latin America.

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    Venezuelan folks

    by travelife Written May 18, 2005

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    Like other Latin American countries, Venezuelans are also very warm and friendly but its difficult to talk to them if you dont speak Spanish. The taxi I was arranged by the hotel, there was this Venezuelan who drove and spoke very good English where we discussed many issues of Venezuela. Woked formerly as a tourist guide, he is a proud Venezuelan.

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    Mourning

    by carolinaEspada Written Mar 27, 2005

    When you are in a grief situation, because somebody died, the proper thing to do, when you go to the funeral and cementery is to dress in black, black and white, white or gray.

    Long time ago, people (specially close relatives to the one who passed away) weared absolutely black during a whole year long (strong european tradition: Spain and Italy). That is now very unfrecuent and very rare.

    I've worn "mourning" colours 4 times in my life (but no longer than a month, each time). Is sort of... a tradition... In my case is not to tell people "Oh, look how sad I am!". No. I carry on with my life. I have no logical explanation for this. Is a tradition. But we are losing it very fast.

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    Tiping the porters at the airport

    by carolinaEspada Updated Feb 13, 2005

    One dollar per bag. Right now, February 2005, that would be 1950 (lets make it 2000) bolívares per bag. You can pay them in bolívares, but you can also give them dollars bills. They will change them in the "black market", where ever that is, and will get 2500 up to 3500 bolívares.

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    Being ridiculous

    by carolinaEspada Written Jan 16, 2005

    That is something that a venezuelan doest likes to be. Oh no. In this country people love to be open and fun and chatty and sparkly and social, but not ridiculous. Never.

    Here you have to be nuts to go out in the broad day light wearing, for example, a pig's nose and a pig's ears. A venezuelan might do that in a Carnaval (mardi grass) party or in a small "petit comité" reunion. But never, ever, in a public space, in a huge cafeteria...

    I... as usual... I couldent care less.

    In the picture I'm with my friends of a journalism work shop. It was our fair well last meeting. It was in a big cafeteria that faces the street. People that passed by went through many reactions: surprise, shock, curiosity, laughter and I even got some thums up.

    Good. Ridiculous doesnt hurts at all.

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    Kissing...kissing...

    by carolinaEspada Written Jan 16, 2005

    We venezuelan kiss on the cheek. A lot. Everybody. All the time. For example, besides kissing my mom, family and my he/she friends, Ive always kissed my teachers, my doctors, their assistants, the secretaries in the newspaper, all of my class mates, students, work mates, the lady that comes to do the cleanning 3 times a week, a perfect extranger and his wife (who I met in a party, shook hands in the begining, said "nice to meet you" and, at the end of the party, we kissed good by), the guy from the book store, the guys that repairs my car, etc. It doesnt takes much for a venezuelan to kiss another person. Im a serious one. There are many that, when a friend of yours introduces them, they kiss you first thing and right away. I never do this. I wait until the end.

    Now, what does this mean? That we are friendly. PERIOD. In 99% of the cases it doesnt means anything else. There is not a promise neither a proposal neither a compromise beyond that. So, dont expect anything else after a venezuelan kiss on the cheek. Dont get carried away.

    In the picture, with my pig ears, Im kissing Daniel Gutiérrez, M.D. (a cardiologist and a baseball specialist) who unsuccesfully sexual harrased me during 2004. The whole year. All kind of proposals. And I always said: "Oh, thank you very much, but no".

    I also said: "The day you stop sexual harrasing me... who knows... maybe something can happen...".

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    No ACRONYMS nor ABBREVIATIONS, please!!!

    by carolinaEspada Updated Jan 13, 2005

    Please... por favor... if you are planning to write in English to a venezuelan, please undestand that is very difficult for us to follow your acronyms or abbreviations. Your UFO is our OVNI (Objeto Volador No Identificado), so if you start writting about UFOS we might get lost in translation.

    Of couse we know what the F.B.I is, or the C.I.A... and SOS (Save Our Souls) and Tip (To Improve Prompteness)... but when you start writing: BTW ASAP BLT ID ER many of us, Spanish speakers and readers, get really lost. For example: the first time I saw: "lol" I started saying, readding, repeatting: lol... lol.. lol... (as in LOL-ipop... LOL). No idea. When I found out, I coundent believe that that meant Lot of Laughs. That is not funny at all: lol. Lots of laughs should be: HahhhHAHhahahHAhahAhhhaaaa!!!!!!!!!!

    Then Ive been surprised with two expressions: AFGO and
    Craft Syndrome. The fist one means Another F...g Growth Opportunity. And the second: Cant Remember a F...g Thing.

    Believe me, undestanding these "lmnops" of yours is quite difficult.

    P.S.
    Post scriptum

    Thank you Gillian and Chancay for telling me how to say the word "siglas" in English: acronyms.

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    BAILOTERAPIA

    by carolinaEspada Updated Jan 4, 2005

    Baile = dance. Terapia = therapy. Bailoterapia = dance therapy.

    In Venezuela we love to dance no matter what: from caribbean rythms such as salsa, mambo, rumba, guaguancó, merengue, son, perico ripiao,bachata, danzón, conga, chachachá, bugalú, cumbia, porro, etc... to dances from any other country: samba from Brasil, tango from Argentina, waltz from Austria, flamenco from Spain, etc.etc.etc.

    In gyms, dancing schools, and parks (on the weekends) you can find a bailotherapist (a man or a woman), dancing boneless and with rythm and energy.

    And there we are, trying to do the same steps and succeding.

    In 2004 I went to two parties where a bailotherapist was hired. On the first party: 2 hours dancing with a gay professor and the men in the party (ooohhh sooo machos) backed up inmediately.

    Actions were taken and, on the following party, the teaching services of the young lady in jeans and black long hair (in the picture) were hired. Within 5 minutes all of the men came to dance. In this picture you can only see Juan Francisco "El Pollo" ("The Chicken") who -with or with our rythm- will dance no matter what. We spent 4 hours dancing. Next day our eyelashes didnt hurt... but everything else...!!!

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Caracas Local Customs

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